Special functions in Common Lisp

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Steve Nunez <steve@symbolics.tech>, Steven Nunez <steve@symbolics.tech>



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Special Functions

Common lisp implementations of special functions
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Table of Contents

  1. About The Project
  2. Getting Started
  3. Usage
  4. Roadmap
  5. Resources
  6. Contributing
  7. License
  8. Contact

About the Project

Wikipedia describes special functions as:

particular mathematical functions that have more or less established names and notations due to their importance in mathematical analysis, functional analysis, geometry, physics, or other applications. The term is defined by consensus, and thus lacks a general formal definition ...

This library implements those special functions required to support statistical distributions.

Built With

Getting Started

To get a local copy up and running follow these steps:


An ANSI Common Lisp implementation. Developed and tested with SBCL.


Automated Installation

If you have Quicklisp installed, you can load special-functions and all of its dependencies with:

(ql:quickload :special-functions)

Manual Installation

To make the system accessible to ASDF (a build facility, similar to make in the C world), clone the repository in a directory ASDF knows about. By default the common-lisp directory in your home directory is known. Create this if it doesn't already exist and then:

  1. Clone the repositories
cd ~/common-lisp && \
git clone https://github.com/Lisp-Stat/special-functions.git && \
git clone https://github.com/Lisp-Stat/numerical-utilities.git && \
git clone https://github.com/Shinmera/float-features.git
  1. Reset the ASDF source-registry to find the new system (from the REPL)
  2. Load the system
    (asdf:load-system :lisp-stat)

If you have installed the slime ASDF extensions, you can invoke this with a comma (',') from the slime REPL.

Getting dependencies

To get the third party systems that these system may depend on, you can use a dependency manager, such as Quicklisp or CLPM Once installed, get the dependencies with either of:

(clpm-client:sync :sources "clpi") ;sources may vary
(ql:quickload :special-functions)

You need do this only once. After obtaining the dependencies, you can load the system with ASDF as described above without first syncing sources.


Obtain a log-gamma value

(spfn:log-gamma -9.99999237060546875d0) ;=> -3.3208925610275326d0

For more examples, please refer to the Documentation.


See the open issues for a list of proposed features (and known issues).


This system is part of the Lisp-Stat project; that should be your first stop for information. Also see the community page for more information.


Contributions are what make the open source community such an amazing place to be learn, inspire, and create. Any contributions you make are greatly appreciated. Please see CONTRIBUTING.md for details on the code of conduct, and the process for submitting pull requests.


Distributed under the MS-PL License. See LICENSE for more information.


Project Link: https://github.com/lisp-stat/special-functions

Dependencies (7)

  • alexandria-plus
  • cl-variates
  • fiveam
  • float-features
  • let-plus
  • numerical-utilities
  • select

Dependents (1)

  • GitHub
  • Quicklisp